Hey all, so sorry this took so long to come out. I started a new job and have been adjusting to my new schedule. I was all ready to write this chapter last weekend, but I went to look for my copy of Episode III and I couldn't find it, currently I still can't find it. So I decided just to buy a new copy and it just came today. I know as soon as I'm done with this chapter I'm going to find my old copy, but whatever I don't really care. This is the first scene that shows the beginning of the Rebel Alliance, so the story is moving along quite nicely. Hope you all enjoy it. Thank you for your patience. Please review and let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: See previous chapters
Seeds of Treason
Calleah thought nothing of it when her brother contacted her the previous night asking her to visit him. She assumed he wanted to say goodbye before heading back home to Alderaan. Since Anakin was home he probably felt no need to stay away from his kingdom any longer. She was surprised to see that her brother was not alone when she arrived. Senator Mon Mothma and Amidala were discussing something in hushed tones with Bail. As Calleah further entered the room she also noticed that Senators Fang Zar, Terr Taneel, and Giddean Danu were there as well seated and discussing something amongst themselves. Amidala was the first one to notice Calleah's entrance and the confused look on her face,
"Calle." All the senators gave a quick look up at the mention of Calleah's name. Calleah approached her brother and asked,
"Bail, Ami, what's going on? What is everyone doing here?" Bail opened his mouth to speak but Amidala held up her hand,
"I'll discuss it with her," she turned to face Calleah, "let's discuss this in private shall we." Calleah nodded as a sinking feeling settled in her gut. Before Amidala moved to take Calleah aside she turned to Mon Mothma and took one of her hands in both of hers, "Thank you for doing this." Mon Mothma put her other hand over Amidala's,
"Think nothing of it, I completely understand." Amidala nodded then put an arm around Calleah's shoulders as she escorted her into the entryway.
"Ami, what's going on you're scaring me?" Amidala turned to face her with her mouth settled in a firm line, she knew explaining this to Calleah was going to be hard, Anakin was her husband and the love of her life.
"Calleah, I asked your brother to contact all them and you last night. I heard about Anakin's appointment to the Jedi Council." Calleah smiled,
"Yes, isn't it wonderful, I'm so happy for him, he's always wanted to be on the council."
"Of course I'm happy for him Calleah," Amidala paused, "I'm just not happy about the circumstances of how he got appointed." Calleah's smile fell,
"You mean that the Chancellor made him his personal representative," Calleah paused and smiled again, "Well Anakin thinks it's a great honor and he would have been on the council eventually, now he can do great things this much sooner, it's wonderful." Amidala noticed Calleah's smile wavering as she spoke,
"Calleah, I know you're not as overjoyed about this as you seem."
"What are you talking about, I'm very happy for him," Calleah said trying to keep the bright smile on her face.
"Calle," Amidala said in a warning tone, "you've never felt comfortable around the Chancellor I know that, there is no possible way that you are happy that your husband is working so close with him." Calleah knew she couldn't lie to her and let her smile disappear from her face,
"Of course I'm not happy about it Ami, it terrifies me. I know the Chancellor is one of your oldest advisors, but I always get this," she paused as she tried to find the word to describe how she felt, "unsettling feeling around him, I always feel like there is something he's not telling me." Amidala nodded,
"I know, I felt much the same even though he was one of my closest advisors. There is just something not right about him, he's hiding something and I'm scared to find out what it exactly is. I care about Anakin, you know that, and I just fear that working so closely with the Chancellor is very dangerous for him. He knows how to play on Anakin's…confidence." Calleah gave a small smile as she shook her head,
"Amidala you can say it, you can call Anakin arrogant, I know he is, that is why I try to make him remember his place on a regular basis." Amidala managed to only give a whisper of a smile back to Calleah.
"Calleah, I have yet to truly explain why we all are here, I will let Bail and Mon Mothma explain the bulk of it, but I have to let you know that Anakin's appointment was the last straw that led us all here. We don't blame Anakin for anything and I want you to know that before the meeting starts." Calleah gave Amidala a confused look,
"Of course Amidala, but I still don't understand…"
"Calleah, Amidala," Calleah was cut off by Bail approaching. The two looked at him as he continued, "if you are ready we wanted to begin." Amidala nodded,
"Of course, we're done here." Calleah still confused looked between her cousin and brother but followed Amidala and took a seat to her left.
The meeting began as most began with the usual introductions before they got into the matter at hand.
"Now that he has control of the Jedi Council, the Chancellor has appointed Governors to oversee all star systems in the Republic," Bail began. Amidala noticed Calleah shift uncomfortably in her seat at the mention of the Jedi Council. She placed her hand gently over hers. Calleah met her gaze and gave her a grateful look. Amidala knew her reaction would have been much worse had she not spoken to her beforehand. Calleah would have assumed they were blaming Anakin for what was going on and she would storm off not giving them chance to explain. Anakin was a sensitive subject for Calleah; she wanted to protect him from the universe. It was understandable, they fell in love in a time of great loss for Anakin, Calleah had been the one to comfort him and bring him out of the abyss of grief. She had seen what happened and never wanted Anakin to face anything like that again. Amidala removed her hand and the two turned back to face the group.
"When did this happen?" Fang Zar questioned. Bail gave a small laugh,
"Oh that decree was posted this morning." Amidala had not yet heard that news and her heart seized in her chest,
"Do you think he will dismantle the Senate?" Mon Mothma gave a slight shrug,
"Why bother? As a practical matter the Senate no longer exists." Giddean Danu spoke up,
"The constitution is in shreds. Amendment after amendment."
"We cannot let a thousand years of democracy disappear," he paused as he let his eyes shut for a moment before he opened them revealing the raw determination within, "without a fight." All the senators except Mon Mothma and Amidala glance around the room as the implication of what he said settled in. Calleah stared at her brother in shock; he sounded like a Separatist, her own brother! Terr Taneel cautiously asked,
"What are you suggesting?" Bail held up his hand as he realized how that statement must have sounded,
"Suggesting? I apologize. I don't mean to sound like a Separatist." At that moment Mon Mothma chose to step in to better explain what Bail meant,
"We are not Separatists trying to leave the Republic," she paused as she glanced over at Bail who gave a small nod and then quickly met Amidala's eyes, "we are loyalists, trying to preserve democracy in the Senate." Amidala had arrived early to speak with Mon Mothma about taking the lead on the proposal with Bail in her place. She thought it would be better if someone who hadn't given birth to a Force sensitive child to take a leadership role in making such an alarming proposal. Calleah was still slightly shaken by everything. She agreed with what was being said but was still shocked that it had gone so far,
"I can't believe it has come to this. Chancellor Palpatine has been one of my strongest supporters he served as Amidala's ambassador when she was Queen!" Giddean leaned forward,
"Senator, I fear you underestimate the amount of corruption that has taken hold in the Senate." Calleah took a deep breath and lowered her head as she tried to calm her racing head and heart. She never dreamed that she would be in such a position. Amidala looked so calm about the whole thing, while Calleah was terrified. She feared the repercussions that the actions suggested would cause, not to mention what would happen if the Chancellor caught wind of such treasonous discussions being had. As a child Calleah had always wanted to be strong and firm like Amidala, but had never really felt that she could be as bold as her. In this moment she knew she wasn't, as queen and as senator Calleah had never had to face any conflicts as great as this one. Amidala had stood before the Senate at the tender age of fourteen and hadn't bowed to the bureaucratic nonsense. She went as far as moving for a vote of no confidence in the current chancellor's leadership. Calleah knew she never would have had the courage to do such a thing. She shut her eyes and moved a hand to her stomach; she knew all this stress couldn't be good for her baby. Calleah then felt calming vibrations through the Force and glanced over at Amidala and realized she must be sending them. She sent her a silent thank you back.
"The Chancellor has played the Senators well," Mon Mothma continued, "They know where the power lies, and they will do whatever it takes to share in it."
"And we can not continue debating about this any longer," Bail stood up and turned away from the group for a moment before turning around, "we have decided to do what we can to stop it. Senator Mon Mothma and I are putting together an organization…"
"Say no more," Amidala said, she chose to stop Bail before he laid out the whole plan. They hadn't yet gotten the reaffirmation from the senators that they were behind it, "I believe we all understand. At this point, some things are better left unsaid." Bail met her eyes as he read her expression. He nodded,
"Agreed," he paused as he let his eyes survey the senators' faces, "and so we will not discuss this with anyone without everyone in this group agreeing." Mon Mothma leaned forward,
"That means those closest to you…even family," she paused as her eyes fell on Calleah as did many of the other senators', "no one can be told." Calleah realized that meant she couldn't tell Anakin and she glanced at Amidala. By her expression she knew that Amidala knew and already agreed not to tell Obi-Wan. Calleah took a deep breath as she met the other senator's eyes,
Once all the senators had agreed Amidala and Calleah made there way back to their apartments. Calleah's insides were still churning with not being able to tell Anakin anything about what just happened. She glanced over at Amidala who still appeared as cool and collected as always.
"I don't understand how you can be so okay with all of this…not being able to tell Obi-Wan." Amidala sighed,
"Although it will be hard I agree with your brother in that we cannot tell anyone." Calleah began getting a little upset,
"Everyone stared at me when Mon Mothma said we couldn't tell even those closest to us. That was just because they know Anakin is my husband. Everyone would have been looking at you too if they knew that you and Obi-Wan were married," she let out a little laugh, "You could probably get away with it too Ami. You could tell Obi-Wan and no one would know because they don't know you're married."
"Calle," Amidala said in a harsh whisper as she grabbed her arm and turned her to face her, "you don't think that it's killing me that I can't tell Obi-Wan, trust me it is. Not just because he's my husband, but because I know that if I told him about this he would be behind it one hundred percent. But I can't make special rules for myself, Bail said no one, so that means no one." Amidala knew Calleah didn't mean her harsh words; just keeping secrets from Anakin had always been hard for her. She already had to keep the secrets of Amidala and Obi-Wan's marriage and that Obi-Wan was the father of Amidala's child. "I know you want to tell Anakin, but he above any others can't be told." Calleah scoffed,
"Because he's so unpredictable, is that it!"
"No, of course not. You know I love Anakin, but you know that he trusts the Chancellor much more than you and I. If he heard about this he would immediately tell the chancellor. He wouldn't implicate you, me, and possibly Bail, but all the others…he wouldn't think twice about turning them in," she paused as she noticed Calleah's expression soften as Amidala's words sunk in. Calleah sighed,
"You're right, Anakin would think it was treasonous, I love him, but he sometimes is too trusting." Amidala gave Calleah a sympathetic smile and a small hug.
Anakin walked through the halls of the Jedi Temple making his way towards the Council meeting room. He could tell that many of the Masters were shocked and he'd even go so far to say outraged at the Chancellor's request for Anakin to be put on the Council. Of course they didn't show it, but he could tell. They said they would consider him and notify him when they came to a decision. Anakin was confident, Obi-Wan, his brother, his former Master was on the council. Also he was the Chosen One, how could they say no.
He took a deep breath as he opened the doors into the Council chamber and stood before the two leaders of the Council, Master Windu and Master Yoda.
"Allow this appointment lightly the council does not," Yoda said, "disturbing is this move by Chancellor Palpatine." Anakin gave a small nod,
"I understand." And he did, the Council was the one who decided to extend invitation to those who they wish to become members. Never had they accepted a member who's appointment was requested by someone else, even if it was the Chancellor. Normally the Chancellor played no part in the inner workings of the Jedi; they were two separate entities working in harmony. However, since the Clone war began and the Jedi's were the generals leading battalions of troops the Senate and the Council had been working closer together.
Anakin glanced over at Mace Windu waiting for the other Master to speak. He rose his head slightly and stated,
"You are on this council," Anakin's heart soared at Master Windu's statement but hid it well, "but we do no grant you the rank of master." Anakin's heart came crashing down and he could no longer hide his emotions,
"What?" His eyes wandered from Mace Windu, Yoda, and finally settled on Obi-Wan, his former master, his own brother. Anakin saw the unsurprised look on Obi-Wan's face. He knew, he knew and he didn't even give him the decency to tell him himself. "How can you do this? This is outrageous. It's unfair," Anakin's gaze turned back to face Master Windu, "How can you be on the council and not be a master?" Windu's face hardened,
"Take a seat young Skywalker." Anakin realized then that he had spoken out of turn; he should be gracious that they allowed him on the council. And he knew exactly why he wasn't a master…
Anakin gave a small bow, "Forgive me, Master." He then moved to the chair that was now his. To the right of Obi-Wan. He locked eyes with his brother as he sat. His eyes said everything he wanted to say to him and by the return gaze Anakin knew his message had come across clearly. The meeting continued on with the discussion of the whereabouts of General Grievous and the droid attack on the Wookie planet of Kashyyyk. It was decided that Master Yoda was going to bring a battalion of clone troops to assist the Wookie army. The meeting was then adjourned.
Anakin followed Obi-Wan after the meeting wanting to have a word with him,
"What kind of nonsense is this? Put me on the council and not make me a master? It's never been done in the history of the Jedi. It's insulting."
"Oh calm down Anakin," Obi-Wan replied trying to calm his brother down. He had been shocked at Anakin's reaction in the council chamber. He though Anakin had matured enough to know when to hold his tongue, "You have been given a great honor. To be on the council at your age—it's never happened before." Obi-Wan lowered his voice as he spoke his next statement, "The fact of the matter is you are too close to the chancellor. The council doesn't like it when he interferes in Jedi affairs."
Anakin heard the underlying message in his brother's words, "I swear to you, I didn't ask to be put on the council." He didn't, but deep in his heart he wanted to be on the council. Every Jedi did. Obi-Wan saw that as well,
"But it's what you wanted." Obi-Wan turned and continued to speak in hushed tones, "Your friendship with Chancellor Palpatine seems to have paid off."
"That has nothing to do with this," Anakin almost growled in return. How dare Obi-Wan speak to him like this? Obi-Wan turned to face him,
"The only reason the council has approved your appointment is because the chancellor trust you." Anakin didn't like the sound of this and he prayed it wasn't going where it seemed to be going,
"And?" Obi-Wan sighed,
"Anakin, I am on your side. I didn't want to put you in this situation." He didn't, he trusted Anakin, but he knew how convincing the chancellor could be. Them spending so much time together wasn't good for him.
"What situation?" Anakin's heart was pounding in dread. Obi-Wan turned to face him and took a deep breath; he hated to do this,
"The council wants you to report on all the chancellor's dealings. They want to know what he's up to." Obi-Wan met his eyes saying everything he knew was too dangerous to say aloud, even in the safety of the Jedi Temple. The two walked towards the windows.
"They want me to spy on the chancellor?" Anakin asked, hoping that wasn't want Obi-Wan was telling him. Obi-Wan's silence said it all. "But that's treason."
"We are at war, Anakin," Obi-Wan replied. Anakin shook his head trying to calm his racing thoughts,
"Why didn't the council give me this assignment when we were in session?"
"This assignment is not to be on record."
"The chancellor is not a bad man, Ben. He befriended me. He's watched out for me since I arrived here." Those words felt like a knife to Obi-Wan's heart. Hadn't he been there for him as well? Didn't he help him along as best he could? Sure there relationship was a hard one, finding the balance between master and brother. But now was not the time to dwell on the past,
"That is why you must help us. Anakin, our allegiance is to the senate, not to its leader who has managed to stay in office long after his term has expired."
"The senate demanded that he stay longer," Anakin said trying to justify the breaking of laws that had been in place since the formation of the senate.
"Yes, but use your feelings, Anakin. Something is out of place," Obi-Wan replied. He remembered Amidala telling him on countless occasions of the discomfort she and Calleah had felt around the chancellor. Even as far back from when Amidala was queen.
"You-re asking me to do something against the Jedi code," Anakin sighed, "against the Republic, against a mentor and a friend. That's what's out of place here. Why are you asking this of me?" Obi-Wan hated to see his brother this way, hated to do this to him, but he knew it had to be done,
"The council is asking you."
After he left Anakin, Obi-Wan joined Mace Windu and Yoda. Master Windu expressed his fears of putting the chancellor and Anakin together. And they spoke of how the prophecy about the Chosen One could have been misread. They had always thought it said that he would destroy the Sith and bring balance to the Force. However, the prophecy only said that he'd bring balance to the Force, not exactly how he'd do that. Although that troubled Obi-Wan he tried to reassure them. Anakin was his brother, he had never let him down in the past, and he was confident that he wouldn't now. At least he hoped.
The meeting from earlier was still grating on Calleah's nerves. She had gone around cleaning the house as she waited for Anakin to return. He always managed to make everything seem right and safe. She heard the door open and tried to hold herself back from leaping into his arms and telling him everything. She merely met him at the door and embraced him tightly.
"What did they say?" Anakin released her,
"I'm on the council, but I'm not a master." Calleah tried to hide her surprise. She was happy he was on the council, but not being a master…she had never heard of such a thing. Anakin put his hand to Calleah's lower back and led her to the patio; he didn't want her moving or standing too long if she didn't have to. Also he was making her upset, he hated doing that. The two sat down on the couch and Calleah took his hand,
"Anakin, I'm sorry. I know how being a master is important to you, but I mean, you're the youngest member to ever be appointed to the council. That has to count for something, right?" Anakin met her eyes. Calleah, always trying to make everything better for him. What did he do to deserve her? He stroked her cheek and she shut her eyes to lean into his caress.
"I am honored, it's just not being master is a constant reminder of Ahsoka." Calleah's heart ached at Anakin's broken tone when he said his former padawan's name. Ahsoka Tano. She was such a sweet girl, she actually figured out about Anakin and Calleah's true feelings for the other and never told anyone. She found it horribly romantic. So young. Calleah still had to reassure Anakin that what happened to her wasn't his fault. Ahsoka was rebellious and didn't follow orders, he couldn't have stopped her. But he constantly said she was his responsibility and when a Jedi's padawan is killed the blame goes to the master. Calleah reached up to stroke the back of Anakin's neck; a gesture that she knew always relaxed him. She was about to tell him again that it wasn't his fault when she felt something,
"Oh, Anakin." At his wife's surprised tone Anakin shot to full attention,
"What? What's wrong?" He calmed slightly at Calleah's radiant expression,
"Feel," she grabbed his hand and put it to her stomach. He was confused for a moment before he felt the slight movement. He met Calleah's eyes with a smile of awe. Calleah beamed at Anakin's expression. She remembered how she had been so worried that Anakin may not have been there for her pregnancy. But he was here now. He moved his hand away and although that brief moment of joy helped, the troubles he was currently facing still weighted heavy on his mind.
"Sometimes I wonder what's happening to the Jedi Order," Anakin sighed, "I think this war is destroying the principles of the Republic." Calleah bit her lip,
"Have you ever considered that we may be on the wrong side?" How she wanted to tell Anakin everything.
"What do you mean?" Anakin asked shocked. Calleah had always been all about the Senate and democracy, now she was saying they might be on the wrong side?
"What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists," Calleah paused, she knew she was risking telling him everything she swore she wouldn't, but she needed his reassurance his comfort, "and the Republic has become the very evil we've been fighting to destroy?" Anakin shook his head still stunned,
"I don't believe that," he paused, "and you're sounding like a separatist." Those words almost felt like slap to Calleah, being called a separatist was the worst thing anyone could call her.
"This war represents a failure to listen. Now you're closer to the chancellor than anyone. Please, ask him to stop the fighting and let diplomacy resume," Calleah practically begged him. If Anakin could change the chancellor's mind then Bail and Amidala's plan wouldn't have to happen and she wouldn't have to lie to her husband.
"Don't ask me to do that," Anakin's tone turned cold. He couldn't believe she was asking this. Was she suggesting they just give up? Lose the war? Let those systems fall to the Separatists? Why was everyone asking him to exploit his friendship with the chancellor? Anakin stood up and turned back to face her, "Make a motion in the senate where that kind of request belongs." Calleah felt that it was more than her words that made Anakin so upset. They had had spats before but they usually burned hot and fast, this was deeper.
"What is it?" Calleah asked. Anakin saw the look of confusion and suspicion cross Calleah's face,
"Nothing," he turned away. He didn't want to tell her, he couldn't, also he didn't want her to worry.
"Don't do this," Calleah saw him shutting down and stood up to stand next to him, "Don't shut me out. Let me help you." She put a hand on his arm and met his eyes. The trickling of the little fountain they were standing near calmed her slightly. The sound reminded her of what now seemed so long ago. When they first met and when they met again and fell in love. It was a private joke between the two of them, but it always reminded them of what brought them together. She knew more talking wouldn't help, "Hold me." Anakin stared at her a little confused then heard the fountain and let the calming feeling run over him. Calleah placed her hands on his chest, "Like you did by the lake on Naboo. So long ago, when there was nothing but our love." Anakin wrapped his arms around her and Calleah shut her eyes as she leaned into his embrace, "No politics, no plotting, no war." Yes, this is what she needed Anakin and nothing but him.
Anakin wished he could just forget like Calleah said. Wished he could just focus on holding his wife and just remember those precious moments when it was just them. When they were young and fell in love. But this new assignment and everything that was going on he just couldn't forget. For the moment though he would hold Calleah and let her own fears get washed away, let her feel the safety she always felt in his arms.
Okay that's all for now. It's getting so twisty already. Also a note about Ahsoka Tano, who most of you probably know is the name of Anakin's apprentice in the Clone Wars cartoon that's currently airing. I know that no one really knows what's going to happen to her. I don't know if they'd actually go so far to kill her, but they never mentioned her in ROTS, but they hadn't developed the idea yet, but they have to explain that somehow. So I am saying for the sake of the story that she was killed and that is why Anakin is not a master yet. But yes. Sorry again for making you wait so long. I'll try to be better with my updates, but I have a lot of things going on with work right now, but I might have more time in the future if everything works out. Thank you all for your patience and I hope this was worth the wait. Please R&R!